We work to ensure that team members receive fair compensation commensurate to their experience and skills, as well as competitive compensation within the local labor markets. As a result, our compensation program varies by market and by position, allowing us to provide a competitive total rewards package.
Many of our team members are compensated at an hourly rate for production or maintenance work in our processing plants. We’ve made improvements in pay and benefits while also creating new employee relations enhancements that differentiate us from competition and align with our effort to create the most desirable workplace possible. Our Compensation Department regularly conducts wage surveys and reviews cost-of-living indicators and community norms. In FY2018, the average hourly pay rate for our U.S. team members was $14.96. In February 2018, we awarded bonuses ranging from $500 to $1,000 to more than 100,000 team members as a result of company savings due to federal tax reform. Full-time team members who did not receive an annual bonus received $1,000 and part-time team members received $500.
We are continuously researching and developing driver-focused pay programs to grow and develop our fleet, as well as combat the driver shortage impacting the industry. We utilize various pay programs to incentivize our drivers to optimize their mileage and stay safe on the roads.
For the first time in 2018, in accordance with a new Securities and Exchange Commission rule, Tyson disclosed the ratio of our CEO’s annual total compensation for the fiscal year to the median of the annual total compensation of U.S. team members. The ratio of total annual compensation for President and CEO Tom Hayes, who served until September 2018, to the median amount for U.S. team members was approximately 256:1. Because the SEC’s rules for calculating this ratio allow companies to adopt a variety of methodologies, apply certain exclusions, and make reasonable estimates and assumptions, the pay ratio reported by other companies may not be comparable to our pay ratio.